Letter – Lucy Morse, 12 June 1861

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Letter written by Lucy H. Morse, to her husband Private William H. Morse of Company C, 3rd MI Infantry. Lucy is has discovered that William was wounded in battle and is afraid the wound might prove fatal. She begs her husband to get a discharge so that he may come home. A second part of the letter is dated Friday, June 13 after Lucy has received a letter from William. She asks him again to be discharged as soon as he can, as she trusts no one else with his care. She even offers to travel to him.


-Page 1-

June 12th 1862

Dear William

it is with a trembling

hand and an aching heart that I pen these few lines to you the sad news that you were wounded reached us nd you cannot imagine my feelings as I contemplate the possibility of you being mortally wounded Oh; God the thought is agonising Oh; I hope that it may prove a false report or that if it is so that it is a slight one Oh; dearest husband if it is true you must endeavor to get a discharge they will give you one I know they will not be cruel enough to keep you there. Oh get a discharge if it is a possible thing and come home where you can have careful care do not you must not go to the hospital where there will be no gentle loveing hand to admister to your wants Brother Jim was here yesterday and he

-Page 2-

said that if it was true that you was wounded that you must be got home some way tomorrow is mail day and Oh I hope that it will bring better news I will try to compose myself untill I know for certain Oh; will tomorrow never come

Friday Afternoon

Dearest one I hasten to answer your long and anxiously looked for letter which I recieved today about noon Oh Dear William you can not think how my heart bounded with hope when I saw your well known writing Oh; My Husband you do not know what a relief your letter was to me for although it was the bearer of sad news I had feared that it might be worse. I can not complain I am so thankful that it is as well as it is, that you were not killed Oh; I can bear the thoughts

-Page 3-

of your being wounded if you are spared to me I could bear to see you a cripple for life but I could not bear the thoughts of your being taken from me Oh; Willy it would kill me if you should die and leave me but hope is strong in my bosom I think that you can get your discharge and just as soon as you are able to ride you must come home where anxious hearts are waiting to recieve you Oh; Willy how I wish you could come right home or that I could come to you you dont know how unwilling I am to trust you to any care but my own if you think I can come to you if you want me to if you think it advisable let me know and I will surmount every dificulty and come I am very anxious about you and I want you to get your

-Page 4-

discharge if it is a possible thing and come home just as soon as you can. keep very quiet and bear it patiently I know it will be trying to you to have to keep still you was always so stirring but you must remember the anxious heart that that hangs on your recovery keep up good courage dearest and I trust all will be well we hope to see you in the course of three or four weeks at the most they will be week of torture to me but I will not murmur for I am thankful that you are spared to me Oh; Willy Dear Willy you do not know how much I love you it seems as if my very heart was bound up in you there is not another on earth that could love you more than I do Willy you may direct your letters to Smyrna for I am going out there.


William H. Morse, age 24, enlisted with Company C of the 3rd MI Infantry at Grand Rapids, MI on June 10, 1861. He was wounded by a gunshot to the knee at the Battle of Fair Oaks, VA on May 31, 1862. The regiment lost 30 men killed, 124 wounded, and 1 missing. He was sent to a hospital in Philadelphia, PA, but later died there on August 8, 1862.

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